Spiritual leader of the Shas party, Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef made a public wish during his Rosh Hashana sermon that
â€œour enemies and haters may come to an end, Abu Mazen and all these villains â€“ may the Holy One, Blessed Be He, afflict them with the plague… these evil enemies of Israel.â€
Abu Mazen is the same as Mahmoud Abbas.
Nissim Ze’ev, a veteran Knesset representative for the Shas said on Sunday that the Rabbi was misunderstood:
â€œHe means that the Holy One, Blessed Be He should end the hatred that the villains harbor against us. It is easy to interpret what he said as meaning that we do not want peace, but this is untrue. The Rabbi supports negotiations for peace. The Jewish people has many enemies and the Rabbi does not mean to say that all of them should be annihilated, just that their hatred for us should end.â€
Hilmi al-Ghoul, an â€œadviser on national mattersâ€ to the chief of the Palestinian Authority said that Rabbi Ovadiah’s â€œracistâ€ pronouncements, pronounced on the eve of resumption of direct talks between the Jewish Country and the PA, under American auspices, sends a message to the world that the Jews refuse to accept the â€œtwo state solution.â€